Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top Matchups, Targets For NFL Week 9

Week 8 of the NFL is officially in the books! We now turn our attention to Week 9, which features a 10-game main slate. Let’s jump right into all the info, and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: Per multiple reports, Texans QB Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL in practice Thursday and will miss the remainder of the season.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: Ezekiel Elliott was granted a temporary stay request by the Second Circuit Court. He is now eligible to play on Sunday against the Chiefs.

Game Notes

Highest Scoring Game

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys – 51.5 Projected Points

The Chiefs at Cowboys checks in as our highest projected game of the week at 51.5 points. These two teams both have a projected team total of 25.8. The big news here is that the Cowboys will be without (barring any court changes) Ezekiel Elliot, so the tandem of Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant will likely be a prevalent play in Week 9. The Chiefs have been very gracious to opposing wide receivers, allowing an average of 177 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, both which lead the league. With Bryant also dominating in red zone targets with 22, this QB/WR combo could very easily be the top play of the week. The GPP play here could be Alex Smith and Travis Kelce, who have connected 44 times for 556 yards and four touchdowns and are only $100 more than a Prescott/Bryant pairing.

Lowest Scoring Game

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – 39 Projected Points

The Bengals own the lowest team total on this slate at just 17.5, which is lower than the 49ers (18.5) and Colts (18) on the week. This is a very tough game to be excited from an offensive standpoint, as the Bengals have done well defensively also. The Jaguars are expected to have Leonard Fournette ($8,400) back this week, which should return them to their ground and pound approach. Fournette is averaging 22 touches per game and 99 rushing yards per week. While his matchup isn’t the most favorable, he’ll be given every opportunity available to make some plays.

DvP Matchups

Format: Team vs. Opponent, Defense vs. Position Rank

Worst QB Matchups

Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1st
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens, 2nd
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers, 6th

Best QB Matchups

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers, 31st
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals, 30th
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans, 29th

Worst RB Matchups

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Denver Broncos, 1st
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans, 3rd
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers, 4th

Best RB Matchups

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers, 32nd
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams, 31st
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts, 30th

Worst WR Matchups

Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1st
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens, 2nd
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Denver Broncos, 4th

Best WR Matchups

Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 32nd
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals, 31st
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30th

Worst TE Matchups

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers, 3rd
Kansas City Chiefs @ Dallas Cowboys, 4th
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams, 6th

Best TE Matchups

Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants, 32nd
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Denver Broncos, 31st
Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins, 30th

Target Report

Target Leaders – Last Week

NameTeamLast Week’s OPPTargets
Jack DoyleINDCIN14
Jamison CrowderWASDAL13
DeAndre HopkinsHOUSEA11
Doug BaldwinSEAHOU10
Mike EvansTBCAR10
Travis KelceKCDEN10
Travis BenjaminLACNE9
Carlos HydeSFPHI9
Demaryius ThomasDENKC9
Chris ThompsonWASDAL9

Target Leaders – Last Three Weeks

NameTeamLast 3 Weeks TargetsAvg.Targets YTD
Jack DoyleIND327.9
Christian McCaffreyCAR308.3
Demaryius ThomasDEN298.4
Mike EvansTB289.7
Kelvin BenjaminCAR266.4
Julio JonesATL268
Michael ThomasNO258.9
Jamison CrowderWAS246.1
Alshon JefferyPHI247.8

Lineup Quick Hits

QB To Build Lineups Around…

Drew Brees ($7,000) – While Brees may be a bit expensive at $7K this week, he’s sandwiched perfectly in between some likely popular options (Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson) and some lower priced ones (Dak Prescott, Alex Smith). Brees is in an excellent matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Superdome no less. In three games at home, Brees is averaging 16.8 DKFP with an average of 280 passing yards and four of his 11 touchdowns. In a favorable matchup like this, Brees could go overlooked.

WR To Pair Him With…

Michael Thomas ($7,200) – Thomas has drawn 8.8 targets per week in an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed. The Saints currently own a 28.5 projected team total on the week, which is second only to the Houston Texans at 31. While Thomas has only reached the end zone twice this season, he’s averaging just under 70 receiving yards per game and now faces one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing wide receivers.

The Top Running Back Will Be

Lamar Miller ($6,200) – I can’t pull myself away from Miller in this matchup. While it may be a bit of stretch that he could be the highest scoring running back this week, he certainly has a chance to be near the top. At just $6,200, he not only has a very favorable matchup, but the Texans own the highest projected team total at 31 points. If they go up early, Miller could be in line for plenty of work in the second half. Miller is averaging 17 touches per game and 88 offensive yards per week, so his salary seems a bit low in my opinion.


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